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As always my goals are to entertain, start a conversation, and get you to think about things. Often it is the things we all tend to take for granted that need to be questioned the most. So if we accept the fact that Eve has no built-in way to win, then what are we left with? How does one "win" a game that cannot be won?
I believe this is one of Eve's truly great strengths. It forces us all to think about our own goals when playing the game. I've often given the advice to new pilots - establish your goals early and often. Be adaptable and open to change. Revisions are good. Things change. And new goals are always on the horizon. Early on in my own Eve career I made the decision to become as knowledgeable and proficient at PvP as possible. I sought out Wars and conflict in Null. I trained to become an approved Fleet Commander. I chased membership in PvP oriented Corporations. I was a sponge. I learned from people as much as they could teach me. And I tried everything.
I've been playing for over a decade now and I can tell you my personal goals have changed over the years. But that core goal remains the same as it was those first couple of months. I am still, every single day, chasing that elusive original goal - to become as knowledgeable and proficient at PvP as possible. I did add a twist over time when I quickly realized that FUN was just as important. That was a lesson it actually took me a year or so to truly understand. Obviously, the combination of those two goals has formed the basis of the vast majority of my Eve experience over the past ten years. PvP mixed with a healthy dose of good times.
But those are goals. So what would I personally consider my own win condition? I have both out-of-game and in-game goals that I would like to achieve. If I managed to achieve them, I would consider those to be personally satisfying win conditions for me. Out-of-game is easy. My goal is simple. I want to establish a legal process that allows for Limited Licensing Agreements between creatives and CCP so that myself and others have a pathway to provide creative products to the community. I should be able to sell posters of my work. Others should be allowed to sell 3D models, or whatever else they want to create. Legally. I thought we were on the verge of this back in 2014-15, but we took a huge step backwards and very little progress has been made since then.
In-game I've already achieved many of my original goals with the success of Stay Frosty and A Band Apart. Those are both huge "wins" in my book. The Alliance Tournament remains a big goal for me. Not to win, although that would be awesome, but simply to make it to the final weekend. That's a really tough one for a group of what The Mittani called, "Idiots of No Consequence." (Which only proves he has no real idea of how the meta game works around here.) But that would be a nice thing that I would personally get a ton of satisfaction from. As I know many of our pilots would as well.
And lastly I'd like to break the 10,000 kill barrier playing the way I play the game. Not by smart bomb camping, or dropping Carriers on Frigates, or flying in massive F1 Fleets - but by being -10 and playing the game on Hard Mode. At my current pace it should take me another 2-3 years to achieve this goal. Given my current lack of playtime.
I suppose the day may come when I have to hang up the Pirate Lord spurs and slip quietly away into the void of deep space. When that day comes I'll know I managed to achieve, or tried my very best to achieve, the goals I set out for myself along the way. Just like you, I may not ever get to technically win at Eve Online - but I will have given it a solid shot. In that regard I already feel like a winner. And I hope you do too.
Play the game and have fun. Do what you want an don't let anyone stop you.
In my opinion, that is how you win at Eve.